Foreclosure, REO sales account for 67% of Phoenix home buying: ASU

In August, the greater Phoenix area witnessed the second highest level of foreclosure home sales activity this year, according to research by the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business. Out of the 8,790 total resales, 3,990 (or 45%) homes were foreclosure sales —where the transaction occurred at a county auction. There were 3,865 foreclosure sales in July and 3,085 in August 2009. Coupled with REO sales, foreclosure activity made up 67% of recorded home buying activity for the month of August, according to the report. Total existing home sales were down, as was the median selling price, down 1.7% and 3% from July, respectively. A total of 8,790 properties were sold at an average price of $139,585. Compared to last year, existing home sales are down 3.2%, while the median price remained the same. The median price for a traditional sale was $135,000, while the median price for a foreclosure property was $147,050. “As the year comes to an end, it is not unusual for median home prices to decline from the levels found in resale home buying season,” said the report’s author, associate professor of real estate Jay Butler. “The fundamental reason is sales activity declines in response to holiday and school activities that allow little time or desire to buy a home.” The report also said that prices were being affected by the mass amount of foreclosure-related activity, especially as expensive homes go into foreclosure. There were 22 foreclosures on homes valued at more than $1 million, in August, seven of which were worth more than $2 million. The condo market showed the same declining trend, with a total 1,450 resales at a median price of $85,855. Last month, the Phoenix metropolitan statistical area (MSA) resold 1,470 condos at a median price of $94,500. The August numbers reflect improvement year-over-year, however, with resales up 27%. The median price for a condo was $103,500 one year ago. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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